Blog Archives

Can corporate-ruled America really be described as independent – and truly successful?

As American Independence Day was celebrated on Saturday many will wryly reflect that the country freed itself from one master only to embrace a far more formidable one – the multinational corporate sector, aka “a grubby cabal of privateers”, Monbiot.

Corporate rule works to the advantage only of their hierarchy and shareholders, at the expense of those on lower incomes; successive British governments have also embraced these corporate bedfellows – regardless of the social and environmental consequences.

The Center for Responsive Politics records some of the interactions between Congress and federal agencies (1998-2015) here:

lobbies usa 1998 2015

Corporate dominance skews decision-making in favour of profit maximisation, rather than the satisfaction of basic needs – leading to a high incidence of mental and physical ill-health

The US Council on Foreign Relations describes the findings of the US National Research Council (NRC) and the Institute of Medicine as “a catalog of horrors”.

Two years ago, the conclusion of a major report released by the NRC and the Institute of Medicine revealed the extent of the US’s “health disadvantage”. The report recorded:

  • higher rates of disease and injury from birth to age 75 for men and women, rich and poor across all races and ethnicities,
  • the rate of teen pregnancy, traffic fatalities and heart disease,
  • and the rate of premature births in the US – the highest among the comparison countries and more closely resembling those of sub-Saharan Africa.

Eight people died and – according to local media – forty-one were wounded after an Independence Day shooting in Chicago on July 4th.

Gun2-Violence-Graphic_054144235308

Why are rates of suicide and homicide so high in the United States? PCU contends that it is due to organising society in the corporate interest – the consequence of a consumption-promoting “dream world of materialism and debt and atomisation”- Monbiot.

To all this, add environmental pollution.

A few examples:

miami coastline

In Miami, corporate builders support politicians that deny climate change and, in low-lying south Florida, building goes on.

children drone killed

And above all, the total loss of moral perspective shown by drone-delivered execution without trial – the frequent killing of civilians in other countries.

Arms industries, which spend huge sums to exert influence in the American states where they are located, are the only beneficiaries of the military aggression blackening the country’s reputation.

George Monbiot says “To seek enlightenment, intellectual or spiritual; to do good; to love and be loved; to create and to teach: these are the highest purposes of humankind”. But the corporate world’s pointless and destructive jobs consume millions of the lives of the brightest students – as Monbiot says: “amputating life close to its base”.

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Fracking: is the corporate – political alliance skewing decision-making?

We read that Cuadrilla boss and government employee Lord John Browne used his position within the Cabinet Office, meeting senior government officials to press for advantages for Cuadrilla Resources and now lobbying companies have successfully continued the pressure behind the scenes.

Despite the potentially serious environmental and social impacts of this harmful practice, British Gas owner Centrica has decided to invest in Cuadrilla’s fracking operations in Lancashire.

  • In the absence of a global cap on emissions any shale gas extracted will be used as well as, not instead of, coal and other fossil fuels, pushing us ever closer to runaway climate change.
  • In addition, fracking poses a serious contamination risk to groundwater, uses vast quantities of fresh water and produces similar volumes of waste water, all of which must be transported in thousands of road tankers, thundering through our towns and villages and damaging roads that will need to be fixed at taxpayers’ expense.
  • House prices have reportedly dropped by 24% near fracking sites in America, and there are already reports of people struggling to sell their houses in affected areas of Lancashire. And almost all experts now agree that fracking won’t bring down our energy bills.

cuadrilla 'fracking facility'Lancashire activist Gwen Harrison recently set up a 38 degrees petition.

She asks readers who are in sympathy to go to http://unfrack.me/, and consider switching to a frack-free energy supplier.

It takes just 3 minutes and sends a very clear message to British Gas and other energy companies who support fracking  (Cuadrilla ‘facility’ left).

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.The suppliers are:

Ecotricity – hope their admin problems are now resolved
Good Energy
Coop Energy
LoCO2 Energy
Ovo Energy
EbiCo
Green Energy UK
 

Interesting . . .

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